Posts Tagged With: happiness


Baby’s first photo!

That little bebe is super healthy and is scheduled to make her/his debut September 30. (Thing 1 is keen to push it till October. I’m feeling her on that even without explanation. Her due date was February 27 and I was hankering a March baby. I got what I wanted, I’m hopeful she will too.)

When I showed the photo to YBW I remarked the bebe looked a bit like a shrimp. Then I giggled and said, “Aww, little Shrimpy.” Thing 1 called me just a moment afterwards and I shared that nugget of conversation. She repeated it to Husband N and Thing 2. I heard Thing 2’s voice, “We have to call it Shrimpy!”

Thing 1 sent that photo this morning, so I guess we’re going with Shrimpy. I’ll miss saying ‘the bebe’, but it’ll be nice not to say ‘it’ all the time.

Thing 2 also said the bebe would be a Libra.
I’d already deduced that.
In our world, Libra is better than Virgo. We know some really crap Virgos.
What’s interesting about Shrimpy being a Libra is that Thing 1 is a Pisces and Husband N is a Gemini. Pisces and Gemini have a particular duality to them. Could be considered light and dark, or yin and yang. I most often refer to that duality as sweet Thing 1 and evil Thing 1 (or Husband N).
So with these double sided signs it might be handy for a third party to be one inclined to balance the scales. As long as that is tempered with the ability to manage that inclination. That’ll grow in time. Or, Thing 2 will knock Thing 1 and Husband N’s heads together so that bebe isn’t always walking a tightrope.

Thing 1 shared with me that she really liked the nurses at the ob practice, that one of them noted that Husband N and Thing 2 showed an abundance of excitement. Thing 1 is generally reserved when it comes to demonstrating her excitement. Thing 2 and Husband N are not remotely reserved about sharing their excitement!
I have this vision in my head of what it was like.

Thing 1 kind of like, ‘Yeah, but I love them.’

I asked her if seeing the bebe and watching it’s little heart beat made it more real to her. She replied she never doubted that it was real, mostly because there was no reason for her to be vomiting so much if she wasn’t pregnant.
I suspect I asked her because I was asking myself the same question.
Does seeing that little bebe in a grainy black and white ultrasound photo make him or her more real to me?
Interestingly, the answer is no.
My baby is going to have a baby of her own. However next level that is, it’s always been real to me.
As of today, she is 7 weeks 5 days along in her pregnancy. Only 32 weeks and 2 days to go! (Did I math that right?)
Between now and then, we’ll hopefully discover if Shrimpy is a boy or a girl. Thing 1 and Husband N will settle on a name. Thing 2 and I will plan and execute a kick ass baby shower. And a whole load of other not quite as cool and even some cooler stuff.

I’m planning to head to Georgia for part of spring break. Want to hug my girl. Want to hug her husband. Want to rub her little belly and let Shrimpy know we’re all about her or his arrival.

Y’all, we might (occasionally) be idiots, but we have great big love!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

love, grace, and gratitude

I’m not sure where I came across this Denis Waitley quote, but I can tell you I rather like it.


I find myself in complete agreement with this sort of definition of happiness.
I wonder if wisdom truly comes with age? I’m not sure I could (or even wanted to consider how to) understand this idea of happiness as a girl, or even as a younger woman.
Only very young children seem to know of happiness instinctively.
The rest of us spend a lifetime struggling to grasp the concept.

Here’s the thing though, new shoes make me happy. Sometimes, deliriously happy. Now that can be bought…but it’s not the kind of happiness that lasts a lifetimes. (Though most of my shoes still bring me joy when I pull them from the box to put on my feet.)
Perhaps new shoes are immune from the “being worn” portion of this concept?

I live my life in a way that finding joy is no longer a chore. I’m learning that they way I live; the way I interact with other human beings, even the way I interact with my God helps me live as many moments as possible with gratitude and grace. (And if y’all really knew me, you’d understand that grace, at least for me, is in short supply.)
I’ve always attempted to live my life with love. Seriously, even when I was being a hater, there was underlying love. It’s as though I somehow retained that instinct, and knew the importance of living life with love was the key to my own sanity. Happiness would follow.

Because I’m on this Journey of Life, I’m on a Journey of personal discovery. And so far, I’ve discovered that grace and gratitude and love are becoming the only way to live. I’m learning so much more about myself living this way. I’m learning so much more about the world, about life in general.
About a month ago, I wrote that love was the intention with which I’d live my life.
Even though I was kind of already doing that, I realize so much has changed for me since I made it my conscious intention. It seems for me that love promotes gratitude and grace.

This morning, I received these words in an email from a friend.

Because I value and appreciate your abilities, knowledge, and opinions, I had to fundamentally reevaluate the way I feel, think, react, and act in any given situation. You see the world differently to the way I see the world, and that doesn’t mean that either of us is wrong.
You have helped me to see and believe that real moral courage is being prepared to listen to the counsel of others, and even if I profoundly disagree, then I should still weigh the opposing views and accept that someone else may be right.

My living with love isn’t just about my own happiness. By simply sharing my love, gratitude, and grace, I was able to help create a shift in someone else. (Moral courage. I never considered that, but I like the way it sounds. I’m going to realize I wear it and work to wear it well.)

You know, I really do live my life just getting along and singing my song…but I do it with love. I think of the people in my life that I love. I know they’re fortunate to be loved by me. But I also know that I’m fortunate because I love them with such a frightening ferocity.
With love as my intention, gratitude comes easily. Grace comes too, but I find that trickier. I find I still give grace a bit of a fight. But I’m learning.
What more can I ask for than the ability to keep learning every single day of my life?
Now that’s real happiness, y’all!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

love was made for me and you

This is one of my favorite images from our wedding.
maids of honor
Every single photo taken during the ceremony shows my daughters like this.
Thing 2 holding Thing 1’s hand in both of hers. Thing 1 says it’s because she was crying so much and Thing 2 was comforting her.
That sounds about right.

Here’s another one that pleases me. Our first dance.

It was the very best day I’ve experienced in many years. The absolute joy in the church that day. The love of our closest friends and family surrounding us.
It was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. Not because it was ours, but because it was interactive. The congregants participated in our ceremony. We laughed, we cried.
YBW’s nephew read from Song of Solomon. His oldest friend read from 1 John. Girlie Thing read the Recipe of Love. We made each other cry. My beloved friend and mentor prayed beautifully for us. And that fabulous ‘girl in a collar’ blessed us in the most special way.
In the middle of our beautiful Episcopal ceremony there was a moment for YBW and me to share our own vows. I had practiced so much that I’d committed mine to memory.
When I began to speak, YBW said: You’re not going to read them?
I said: I memorized them.
His eyes got very big and there was laughter in the church.
Thing 2 said: She worked so hard, just let her go!
More laughter.
Mine was a short paragraph about trust and experiencing a different love with him.
YBW borrowed heavily from Joss Whedon and did manage to include “corpsified and gross” much to my joy!

At the reception, our Things made speeches, Thing C and Thing G telling funny and inappropriate YBW stories. Thing C said something about how it’s not YBW and Robynbird anymore, it’s YBW and Robynbird together. (this made more sense in the inflection)
Thing 2 wandered off for a moment but came back to where she started and as hard is her precious little heart is she told us we “made a believer” out of her.
Thing 1 broke my heart talking about happiness and love. She acknowledged how happy YBW helps me be. She expressed her love for him, not simply because of that, but because she loves him.
My precious and darling nephew, Boy Thing spoke of how I wasn’t just his aunt, I was his second mom and he is who he is today because I was in his life. (We cried in each other’s arms for a moment after he finished.)

YBW and I kissed each time the flatware hit the glasses. We laughed as we explained why there was a little black dolly on our wedding cake.

We danced the night away.
It was the most wonderful day in the history of YBW and Robynbird…so far…

I hadn’t anticipated this post going the way it did when I started. I thought it was going to be about the girls holding hands…turns out I needed to talk about the entire day.
It was a mighty fine shindig.

Categories: love, on being a mom, Uncategorized, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

oh happy day

Finally! After a twenty day countdown today is the day!
Thing 2 arrives at Dulles at 11:45 this morning!
I am quite possibly the happiest human being on the entire planet!
I can hardly wait to get my arms around my baby!


My joy knows no bounds! I wish this level of happiness for absolutely everyone!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

it can’t be a contest if I choose not to particpate

Thing 2 told her father she’s coming to live here in the fall…this was her decision and hers alone. I offered to help her tell him, she told me she wanted to do it herself, partly because it was her plan and she wanted to advocate for it and partly because she knew if I was involved he’d think I was coercing her. Thing 2 is very bright.

She told him on Tuesday, and this is the email he sent to me Wednesday. Following that is my response this morning.

I am thrilled FOR my daughter, not because she’ll be with me, but because she is ready to climb out of the hole he helped her dig. She’s climbing out all by herself. I couldn’t be more proud.

I don’t understand this “you win” nonsense…but then I have never played the game.

(email he sent early Wednesday morning)
I don’t know where to start and wish I didn’t have to. The idea of letting Thing 2 go to Va. just hurts me so, but it is probably the best thing for her. I just want her to be in the best place for her to grow. Living here has been a slow learning process for her and I feel to blame for that just because she has been home alone far more than she should have been. I have to work and keep the bills paid, food on the table and have entertainment expenses. If she had gone to CHS this past year it may have been a different result and I believe better.
You have gone to Va. and tried to make a new life for yourself but I have been left to try to make a life here where my life of taking care of my family has been twisted to become something different. I am not sure what I can do to help Thing 2 here now that I have committed to the expenses of this house but it would have been the best thing for Thing 2 if she had stayed in school at CHS. I could give up and make my expenses less but now she wants to create a new life in Virginia and that may be the best thing for her.
So now I have to go to work like always and soon I must find a way to make a new life for me.
You Win……..JM

(my resonse)
The fact that you said, “you win” makes me feel sad and kind of sick.
Nobody wins here. Thing 2 failed her junior year and wants to drop out of high school.
Everybody fails.

I agree she would have been better off at CHS…and that might have been able to happen second semester had she been able to get it together enough to pass first semester and transfer back. But she was not supported by the people who are supposed to support her. We are her parents. We must behave like parents and support our children.
We failed her.

You work the way you work, the way you’ve always worked. It’s not an excuse, it just is.
I understand you’re having to reconfigure the plan of your life. I understand that it’s hard. You’ve stood on your own two feet financially since you bought your first house…now you have to figure out how to stand on your own two feet emotionally, and it’s hard, and you don’t have much practice…so it’s going to feel icky, and I’m sad that it’s icky for you.

I had nothing to do with Thing 2’s decision. She called me and asked if she could come here, asked if she could be in my home. My babies will always have a home wherever I am, I can not, did not tell her no.
I did not feel that I’ve “won” anything. I don’t view those girls as a contest with you. I don’t consider them items with which to hurt and humiliate you. They are my babies. I will always work tirelessly to do what I believe is best for them.
Thing 2 believes she will find success by relocating her life, I support that, not because she’s coming here to where I am, but because I heard her voice, heard the long dormant fire in her belly crackling as she spoke to me. Heard her planning, and being excited to plan, her future.

The fact that you say I’ve won makes me think you’ve got it all wrong…I don’t believe it’s a contest.
I chose to do what I believed was best for me when you decided what was best for you was for me to be away from you. I saw your seriousness and chose to make arrangements to leave when you expressed your desire for change.
I never saw any of our life as a contest, that feels hurtful, as though knowing you and loving you is somehow negated. If it’s a contest then we’ve both lost.

I don’t like that you’re hurting. I have not liked hurting. I don’t understand what happened to the kindness between us, I guess it went away when it turned into some kind of contest.
I choose not to participate in any contest with you. I choose to just be. I choose to just care.

Thing 2 needs something, she’s looking for something, perhaps she’ll find it here, perhaps not. But she’s looking. I don’t want to discourage that.

So the high road pays off…my friend and mentor will love that!

Categories: divorce, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

happy birthday, Thing 1

I completed my second decade of motherhood today.
Thing 1 is twenty, but not until 7:21 this evening to be precise. This is the first year I will not be with her on the anniversary of her birth, I thought it would make me feel more sad, but I guess I’m growing too, accepting that she is a pseudo-adult and her birthdays are no longer about her family of origin, but the new family she is beginning to create for herself with friends and fiancee. (That word still gives me pause.)

I was up very late editing the book and slept until 9:00 waking in a momentary panic that I hadn’t yet called her. In addition to not being with her on this day, this year marks the first time I was not the first person to tell her, Happy Birthday. That fell to N this year, as I suspect it will for years to come.
It doesn’t matter though, for she will always be my baby…my very first girl, the one who was given to me to challenge me to be the best possible me. She and I have had some dark times, but the light was always lit just waiting for it’s time to shine again.

N entered her into a contest in which she won tickets to a bridal show in Savannah…so that is how she’ll spend her 20th birthday…how precious, and how appropriate for her.
My sweet girl is no longer stubbornly fighting her Aunt Sundance and me to wear too small shoes. She is no longer swimming in the pool when the water is 50 degrees simply so she could be the first one in and the last one out at the start and close of our pool season. She is no longer that lost girl trying to understand what to make of her world when I changed it by leaving her dad. She is no longer the girl who hurt herself and came to me desperately begging for help. She’s not even the girl we dropped off at college with her most precious lovey, the little pink doll, Emily who had seen her through all her scariest moments.

She is a woman, one who is beginning to make a real plan for her life, to go back to school and study something she is passionate about, to find a job and make a home, and plan a wedding. She is able to open up and be honest with me about who she is and what she thinks and feels.
She sparkles once again, the way she did when she was small.

Sometimes I worry that she is too jaded, so quick to assess and pass judgment because it can come across as unkind…she’s going to have to learn to temper this, perhaps time and maturity will aid in that. I believe she feels safe enough to be who she really thinks she is, even if she’s a bit brash because I trusted her to make her own opinions and express her creativity…it is very hard to have a strong mother, I suspect she felt she had to fight to be heard instead of trusting in me to hear. Perhaps that is why she is quick to express her opinion without thought of how it might make those around her feel.

She is so bright, and interested in things that boggle my mind, she loves science and math, even though she wasn’t terribly successful in those courses. She is truly an artist who has yet to find her medium.
She has made me so proud, not simply because I’m her mom, but because I know her. Yes, I raised her, I did my best to give her a solid foundation upon which to build her life, but I am savvy enough to know that she has impacted her own character and destiny, and I can honestly say, I am proud to be her mom and proud to know her as a person.

Today is bittersweet for me, that little girl is still inside the interesting woman she’s become, but those times are gone, nothing but nuggets of precious memory, old photographs and an indelible imprint upon my heart.
I accomplished and survived her.
My love for her is knows no bounds.
I am still her “Mommy” but I am also something new.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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